英语阅读长难句难攻克?此处有绝招!

在开始今天的话题之前,请各位U粉儿先看看下面的句子 ——

"It 'depends' because as much as a community might be able to ground its claims to independence in a sense of ethnic, cultural, or historic sense of self-identity, or in terms of its abuse at the hands of an 'alien' authoritarian elite, there are still broader matters of stability or security to be addressed."

(Matthew Craven, Statehood, Self-determination, and Recognition)


在这句话中(对,它是一句话!),不仅出现了"as much as"、"ground … to …"、"in terms of"等词组,而且蹦出了"self-identity"和"authoritarian"这样的大词,如何去解释还真是一个十分之专业学术的问题。读完之后,转瞬即忘,不解其意。
这样的句子,在英语阅读中,便被称为"长难句"。
长难句,顾名思义,既长且难,主要难在用词、结构等方面。从句套从句、大词小词轮番上阵,是长难句的典型特征。出于艺术效果、学术氛围等需要,文学作品、学术论文或专业性较强的文章常常贡献出一批长难句。当然,有时因为文章谈论的问题过于复杂,用简单句难以定义和解释,也会使用长难句。
英语阅读中长难句的类型很多,不一而足,在此很难罗列齐全。今天小U就带大家认识几类比较典型的长难句,通过对例句的分析提出攻克妙招,希望对各位U粉儿的英语阅读有所帮助。

1并列成分多,语态不统一 
I never liked long walks, especially on chilly afternoons: dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight, with nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie, the nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed. (Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre)
这类句子的特点是并列的分句多,且因语态不统一;显得格外杂乱,令人摸不着头绪。碰到这类句子时,关键是先找准主语,再将后面的动词对应,便能大致梳理出脉络。本句中出现了两个主语,即"I"和"a heart",以主语为标志,对应动词,便能将长句拆分,帮助理解。

2生词多,且密集出现  

The responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the 'creative temperament' -- it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)

请注意!前方生词高能轰炸!

一眼望去,"responsiveness"、"impressionability"、

"temperament"、"readiness"等长难词让人眼花缭乱,更别说这个句子里还包含了同位语、定语从句等复杂结构。词汇重在积累,几乎没有捷径,主要还是靠多阅读。比较高效的方法可能是识别词根,推测词义。例如"impressionability"一词,"impression"意为"感觉、印象","ability"意为"能力、特性",将二者结合,便可推测此词意为"可印性、敏感性",这对于快速浏览、了解大意帮助较大。


3
修饰成分多,主干不明  

He muttered detached words also; the only one I could catch was the name of Catherine, coupled with some wild term of endearment or suffering; and spoken as one would speak to a person present: low and earnest, and wrung from the depth of his soul. (Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights)
这句话的主要意思是,他(希斯克利夫)自言自语,说起了昔日的恋人凯瑟琳。然而,出于描写需要,句中加入了大量的修饰成分,并用多种句式对说话的内容、方式和语气进行了描绘,模糊了句子的主干。在这样的情况下,应首先抓住句子的主谓宾结构,把握主干,再细读其他的修饰成分。如此一来,不但节省时间和气力,也不容易被繁杂的修饰语影响。 
4长句中的分句主旨多变,难以把握 
Two countries with second-strike forces have the same amount of strategic power -- since, short of attaining a first-strike capability, adding more weapons does not change the effective military balance. (Kenneth Waltz, Nuclear Myths and Political Realities)
这类句子多出现在学术文章中。学术类文章与文学作品不同,往往一篇文章中讨论的话题和因素纷繁复杂,不似文学作品起承转合,自然连贯。而且,学术论文的阅读要求较强的知识背景,故而难度较大。本句围绕核武器展开论述,第一个分句讲"second-strike",第二个分句讲"first-strike",第三个分句讲"military balance",主旨转变很快,如何将三个分句有机统一,是理解这类长难句的关键。一个比较好的方法是,将长句拆分,找出每一个分句的关键词,去除枝桠,再分辨其中的逻辑联系。当然,这个方法对读者的知识背景、分析能力要求较高,所以平时多读、多练、多积累,是非常重要的。

以上四类长难句,在英语阅读中经常出现,给英语学习者造成困扰。归结起来,它们的特征是:句子长、生词多、结构复杂、关键词多变等,而解决方法虽不尽相同,在很多时候还是可以搭配使用。各位U粉儿可根据实际情况,作出适当选择。最后,向各位U粉儿放送最大的绝招:熟能生巧(Practice makes perfect)。希望在今后的英语阅读中,这些诀窍能对大家有所裨益。

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